Threat deemed not ‘viable’
Increased police presence initiated for remainder of school year
BOYERTOWN » A threat made against the ninth-grade class at Boyertown Area High School was found to be non-credible by police and school officials, but drew an enhanced police presence to the school May 29 nonetheless.
“School administration, in collaboration with local law enforcement, have thoroughly investigated this issue. Based upon the threat assessment conducted by the administration and school resource officer, the comment made by a student was not viewed by the team and local police as a viable/immediate threat,” according to a statement posted on the school district website.
The statement indicated that students, parents and staff at the school had been notified of the incident but several parents, including Jen Heffentrager, said
the district should have let parents know sooner than the evening of May 28.
“Why was this information not sent out on Friday when it happened? Why was this only released after badgering the district for information? And to send a cryptic email 10 hours before the start of the next school day? The climate we currently live in with threats to schools is not to be taken lightly, and not one in which information shouldn’t be shared in order for parents to make informed decisions,” she wrote in an email to The Mercury.
“We are aware of the threats being made to Boyertown Senior High School,” Colebrookdale Township Police posted on the department’s Facebook page. “School officials are also aware of the threats and there will be police presence at the school tomorrow. Thank you.”
“The district has requested increased police presence by local departments at the high school for the remainder of the school year,” according to the district’s statement.
One police car was parked outside the front door of the school at around 12:30 p.m. May 29 when a reporter visited the school.
School officials declined to comment but did say interim Superintendent David Krem is not in the district and will not be back until next week.
Fox 29 TV reported that the student who made the threat has been expelled but that could not be confirmed at press time.
“The students have a right to know who is making threats so they can be aware of this student being on campus,” Heffentrager wrote.
Several other callers said they wanted more information about the student who made the threat but school districts typically will not comment on discipline of individual students.
The district website did refer visitors to safety and security measures in place at all schools, including video surveillance on buses and school entrances, school resources officers, school safety drills and the district’s anti-bullying program.
Several recent school board meetings have featured discussions and updates about school security in the wake of the shootings in Parkland, Fla. in February.
“We continue to work closely with local law enforcement to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment so that all students can succeed in a changing world,” read the district’s statement.
“While the details of these safety measures cannot be divulged, parents/ guardians, students, staff and community members are always welcome to attend school board meetings to keep abreast of the progress of this comprehensive school safety initiative,” according to the district’s statement.